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|Bandon Fish Market|
Two signs that the Bandon Fish Market is a popular eatery with locals:
1. It's standing-room-only on a rainy day, long past lunch hour in late afternoon.
2. All the fish and seafood in the display case have bright orange "FRESH" signs.
The wait for a table is worth it, in any weather.
We haven't tasted smoked salmon chowder anywhere on the Oregon coast that matches this silky version with generous bites of not-too-salty salmon.
At $4.25 for a bowl and $8.95 for a bread bowl, this chowder is a great deal for lunch, snack or early dinner.
New England chowder is even more of a bargain at $4.25 for a chunky bowl or $8.95 for a bread bowl.
Fish and chips are the most popular menu item at this tiny eatery, priced at $10.95 to $11.95. Unlike many larger seafood places on the coast, the Bandon Fish Market is careful about its labels, so everyone knows the catch is wild. It's not just cod here, it's Pacific True Cod; same with Pacific Snapper and wild salmon.
A halibut burger is a real treat at $6.95, or there are fresh oyster shooters at $1.45 each. Stuffed clams -- with cheese, onions and peppers -- are only $1.10 to eat on the spot or to take home.
All the fresh catch, from halibut to salmon, is available to take home too. Especially popular are Oregon's sustainable bay shrimp, at $5.49/lb. A seafood cocktail with local shrimp is $5.50.
The crab and smoked salmon salads we ordered another day were so loaded with seafood ($8.50-$13.00), we saved half of each to take back to our hotel, so that we could dine at the beach, while watching one of Bandon's famous sunsets.
The Bandon Fish Market has been in business almost 30 years, and expanded in 2011 to meet demand for more indoor dining, with waterfront windows.
Picnic tables allow dockside dining, so you can watch fishing boats going out -- and your lunch being hauled in.
Bandon Fish Market, 249 1st St. S.E., Bandon. (541) 347-4282.
Open 11-6 most days, depending on weather; Sundays, 11-4.
By Kathleen Kenna
All photos by Hadi Dadashian